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Full text of "Fish and Wildlife Management Report December 1, 1957"



No. 38 December, 1957 



FISH AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 

REPORT 



PROVINCE OF ONTARIO 

DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS 

Division of Fish and Wildlife 



Hon. Clare E. Mapledoram F.A. MacDougall 

Minister Deputy Minister 



v 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Luther Marsh Game Bag Census Report, October 5, 1957. 

- by J. F. Gage 



Page 



Kenora District Paired Duck Census and Brood Count, 1957. 

- by V. Macins 4 

Land Use and Its Effect on Pheasant Densities. 

- by F. C. vanNostrand 7 

Lake Erie District Muskrats, Season Summary for 1957. 

- by A. R. Streib and L. J. Stock 10 

Marten Research, Chapleau District, May 11 - May 31, 1957. 

- by V. Crichton 12 



Initial Plan for Deer Habitat Manipulation in Coniferous 

and Mixedwood Swamps of South Canonto Township, 

Frontenac County. - by A. T, Cringan 13 

Creel Census 1956, Sault Ste, Marie District. 

- by K. H. Loftus 16 

Creel Census and Its Future Role in Fisheries Management 

of the Western Region. - by J. M. Fraser 26 

A Report of Angling in Fanshawe Lake. 

- by J. D. Roseborough 34 

Creel Census and Lake Survey - Fanshawe Lake. 

- by M. G. Johnson 42 

Summary of Fur Returns by Ontario Game Management 

Districts, 1956-57. 54 



(THESE REPORTS ARE FOR INTRA-DEPARTMENTAL 
INFORMATION AND NOT FOR PUBLICATION) 



- 1 - 

LUTHER MARSH 'GAME BAG CENSUS REPORT, 

OCTOBER 5TH, 1957 

by 
J. F. Gage 



A game bag census for ducks was again conducted at the 
Luther Marsh on opening day, Saturday, October 5th, 1957 • 

The legal opening hour of 9°00 a m. Standard Time was 
flagrantly violated by most hunters and considerable shooting was 
already underway by 7*00 a.m. Attempts to curb the shooting by 
apprehending hunters tended only to curb the illegal shooting in 
areas adjacent to each officer, Hunters who had stationed themselves 
deep in the marsh or in isolated corners and in boats were almost 
impossible to control, A few hunters began to trickle through the 
four main checking stations by lis 00 a.m. Stations were only operated 
until 4o00 p.m. when students found it necessary to return to Guelph. 
There is little doubt that if the check had been maintained until 
after the evening shoot, considerably more hunters would have been 
checked and many more ducks added to the count 

During the checking period 426 hunters were interviewed. 
Forty~three hunters or fifteen parties had the use of dogs, while 
some 3$3 hunters or 145 parties had to retrieve their own ducks. 

In interviewing the hunters it was discovered that some 
31$ ducks were shot, but only 246 successfully retrieved. Hunters 
with dogs reported losing only three ducks, while hunters without 
dogs reported losing 66 ducks. Hunters with dogs reported finding 
only one duck which they did not shoot. Hunters without dogs repor- 
ted picking up three ducks which they did not shoot. There is, of 
course, a tendency amongst hunters not to admit finding a dead duck, 
but rather to bask in some misplaced glory as having shot the bird. 

Sex ratios of the three main species were collected but 
since some difficulty may have been experienced in sexing black 
ducks and immature t3al the discrepancies cannot be seriously consi- 
dered. 

The various times involved in the past few years for the 
legal shooting hours have produced a variation in the method of 
making our opening day census at the Luther Marsh. We are currently 
planning to review all our past reports on census work performed on 
opening day to see if some uniform method of conducting and reporting 
cannot be established. We hope this will lend itself toward a better 
comparison of trends, and produce a more economical and efficient 
method of gathering information. 



- 2 - 



The data collected on opening day, October 5th, 1957, have 
been compiled in Tables I and II. A comparison of the past five 
years is presented in Table III and Table IV. 

TABLE I - Species Compositi on of B 





Adult 


Juv. 


Adult 


Juv. 






Percent of 


Species 


<S 


d 

9 


$ 


9 

3 


Others 
6 


Total 
57 


Total Kill 


Mallard 


24 


15 


23 


Black 


7 


3 


20 


9 


16 


55 


22 


Coot 


— 


- 


- 


- 


- 


54 


22 


Blue-winged Teal 


3 


3 


o 


6 


10 


24 


10 


Ruddy Duck 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


11 


4 


Green-winged Teal 


- 


~ 


- 


- 


- 


8 


3 


Redhead 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


7 


3 


Ring-necked Duck 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


7 


3 


Grebes 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


5 


2 


Scaup 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


3 


1 


Merganser 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


3 


1 


Baldpate 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


3 


1 


Gallinule 


— 


— 


- 


— 


- 


3 


1 


Rails 


- 


— 


-' 


- 


- 


2) 




Snipe 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


2) 


3 


Pintail 


- 


- 


— 


— 


- 


1) 


Bufflehead 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1) 





246 



99 6 /» 



TABLE II - Sex and Age Ratios Tabulated Below for Mallard, 
Black and Blue-winded Teal. 



Specie s 



Mallard 

Black 

Blue-winged Teal 



Male; Female 

33sl3 

10s 29 

62 & 



Juvenile g Adult 

12?39 

12s27 

9i 5 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/resourcemandec1957onta 



- 3 - 



TABLE III - Species Compositi on for Fiv e Year Period - Luther Mars h 



Species 


1953 
No. ±_ 

143 35 


1954 


1955 

No . _JL 

136 27.1 


1956 

No. _JL_ 

163 26.5 


1957 
No. JL 

55 22 


Totals % 




No. 
49 


fo 




Black Duck 


9.9 




Mallard 


74 


17 


53 


10.7 




17.5 


155 


25.2 


57 


23 




G.W. Teal 


33 


8 


14^ 


29.9 


104 


20.7 


100 


16.3 


3 


3 




B.W. Teal 


79 


19 


125 


25.3 


91 


13.1 


64 


10.4 


24 


10 




Pintail 


10 


2 


2 


.4 


3 


1.5 


22 


3.5 


1 






Ruddy Duck 






3 


1.6 


13 


2.5 


13 


2.1 


11 


4 




Bluebill 






2 


. 4 


11 


2 


12 


1.9 


3 


1 




Baldpate 






1 


.2 


17 


3,3 


10 


1.6 


3 


1 




Ring-necked 






9 


l.d 


10 


1.9 


9 


1.4 


7 


3 




Redhead 


79 


19 








9 


1.9 


6 


.9 


7 






Wood Duck 






17 


3.4 


3 


.5 


5 


.3 








Goldeneye 






2 


.4 




















Gadwall 


















5 


.3 








Bufflehead 




















1 






Merganser 






4 


.3 


10 


1.9 


3 


.4 


3 


1 




Canvasback 


















1 


.1 








Coot 






64 


12.9 


X 


5€ 


35 


5.7 


54 


22 




Shoveler 


423 


— 


2 
494 


o 4 



501 






613 





246 


— 




TOTAL 









TABLE IV - Hunter Success Data - Luther Marsh - for 
a Five Year Period 





Hunters 


Ducks 


Parties 


Ducks 


Ducks 


Ducks 


Year 


Checked 


Checked 


Using Dogs 


Lost 


Found 


Per Hunter 


1953 


207 


253 


11 


127 


4 


1.2 


1954 


729 


494 


22 


127 


23 


.67 


1955 


639 


501 


16 


173 


3 


„73 


1956 


539 


613 


17 


132 


3 


1.04 


1957 


426 


246 


15 


69 


4 


.53 



TOTAL 2,590 



2,112 



31 



633 



42 



4.27 f 5 s .354 



-*r- 



- h - 



KENORA DISTRICT PAIRED DUCK CENSUS AND BROOD COUNT, 1957. 

by 
V« Macins 



The duck census around Aulneau Peninsula on Lake of the 
Woods, Kenora District was done on May 15 and 16, 1957 from a motor 
boat travelling at 15 miles per hour. The attached table shows the 
distribution of the different species in the area covered. The 
visibility on both days was good, with moderate winds prevailing 
throughout the day. 

Pairs were counted only where definite pairing was observed 
Ducks listed under unknown are mostly ducks observed at too great 
a distance or for a very short time only, making identification 
difficult. 

To ensure greater uniformity the area covered was reduced 
by about 3/B from the area covered in spring of 1956, leaving out 
area northeast and east of the peninsula (Yellow Girl Bay and White- 
fish Bay) . 

It is intended to cover the same area in the brood census, 
later on in the summer and in future years. 



Aulneau Peninsula, Lake of the Woods Duck Census 
May 15 and l6 s 1957 



Date 


Locality 


Mergar 

-1 £ 


iser 
Pr, 


Gc 
6 


•ldeneve 
2 Pr. 


Mall, 


ard 




Sci 


aup 








6 


2 


Pr. 


6 


9 


Pr. 


May 


15 


Shore Island 


3 


1 




1 


wm 


_ 


1 


2 


^ 


<m ^ 


mm 


m m 


mm 


May 


15 


Sunset Channel 


— 


- 




7 


1 


— 


1 


— 


M 


3 


1 


— 


1 


May 


16 


Tug Channel 


- 


— 




g 


3 


1 


3 


1 


1 


2 


— 


~ 


- 


May 


16 


McPherson Is. 


— 


— 




2 


«- 


— 


2 


1 


— 


— 


- 


■a 


— 


May 


16 


The Little 
































Traverse 


3 


— 




3 


- 


— 


1 


- 


- 


3 


- 


- 


- 


May 


16 


Miles Bay 


3 


2 




6 


~ 


- 


6 


4 


3 


5 


- 


- 


- 


May 


16 


Sabaskong Bay 


_2 


3 




4 


k 


1 


4 


1 


1 


- 


„ 


m 


3 


TOTAL 




11 


6 


: 


31 


3 


2 


IB 


9 


5 


13 


- 


- 


6 


Dat 


;e 


Locality 


Buf.fl 6 


:hec 


ad 


Ba 


.ldpate 


Unknown 




Nol 


ies 




6 


£ 


Pr, 


a 


S« 


3p. 


Pr, 








May 


15 


Shore Island 


1 


_ 


2 




_ 


_ 


_ 




I 


3 








May 


15 


Sunset Channel 


1 


~ 


1 




— 


— 


— 




7 


1 








May 


16 


Tug Channel 


— 


— 


— 




- 


— 


— 




4 


5 








May 


16 


McPherson I?.. 


- 


— 


— 




— 


- 


— 




— 


1 








May 


16 


The Little 
































Traverse 


- 


— 


- 




— 


— 


— 


10 


1 








May 


16 


Miles Bay 


~ 


— 


1 




- 


~ 


1 


25 


5 








May 


16 
)TAL 


Sabaskong Bay 


2 


— 


3 
7 




l 

l 


~ 


1 




~ 


4 
20 








T( 


i 


53 





7 Cormorants, 3 Bald Eagles, 6 Blue Heron, 1 Western Grebe, 2 Turkey 
Vultures. 



- 5 - 

The area covered on each leg (in linear miles) on the paired 
duck census in the Lake of the Woods. 

May, 1956 (He licopter! May , 1957 (Motor Boat) 
Linear Miles Linear Miles 



French Narrows 


10o5 


Sunset Channel 


14.0 


The Tug Channel 


12.5 


McPherson Island 


10.0 


The Little Traverse 


9.0 


Miles Bay 


15c0 


Sabaskong Bay 


4.0 



9. 


>5 


14. 


,0 


9. 


>5 


4. 


,0 


3, 


,0 


15. 


,0 


3- 


,5 



TOTAL 75.0 63c5 

Duck Brood Census 

The following table gives the different areas covered, the 
approximate mileage and the number of different duck broods counted. 
Also some notes of the total amount of some other birds noted in the 
area. 

The duck brood survey was made July 19 and 20, 1957, on 
the Aulneau Peninsula, Lake of the Woods. Weather, sunny and warm, 
winds low and the visibility good. Survey was made from a motor boat 
cruising at the average speed of 15 m.p.h. Total time spent on the 
survey was 12 hours. 

Low brood counts in some areas are mostly due to abundance 
of rushes and other plant cover along the shores and in bays making 
it impossible to see any ducks, 

There is reason to believe that the size of Mallard broods 
in some cases were larger than given in the table. Because of the 
female leading the brood inland as soon as the boat approached, no 
precise count was possible. 

All of the juvenile mergansers seen in the Sunset Channel 
area (45) were in one flock with two adult females manning it. The 
other adult females were further away in the same bay sunning on a 
rock. 



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- 7 - 

LAND USE AND ITS EFFECT ON PHEASANT DENSITIES 

(A summary of one summer's investigation, 1957) 

by 
Fo C. van No strand 
Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph 

Purpose 

The project was initiated on the premise that there were 
significantly more pheasants in the county of St „ Clair, Michigan, 
than in the county of Lambton, Ontario, The difference was thought 
to be quite marked, yet the two counties are separated only by the 
St. Clair River. Since it was thought that no important climatic 
difference existed between these two areas, land use was believed 
to be the most important factor influencing their densities. 

Techniques 

The Study Area 

In order to eliminate any possible influence due to inherent 
qualities of the soil, three study areas, each of about 5?000 acres, 
were chosen in areas having a soil almost entirely of the Brookston 
types one was in St. Clair county and two in Lambton county. The 
soil of the St, Clair study area was Brookston clay loam overlain 
by numerous sand spots. Both Lambton county areas had a soil which 
was mainly Brookston clay and was largely without any sand spots. 
The Brookston series is a poorly drained but fertile soil. Although 
its agricultural value is greatly improved by installing systematic 
tile systems, adequate surface drainage permits general farming to 
be carried on with limited yields of cereal grains. 

The Pheasant Census 

Densities of cock pheasants of the three areas were compared 
by using the spring cock-crowing census method. (Kimball, 1949) 
This was carried out from May 6 through to June 19, 1957, At least 
six censuses were carried out in each of the three study areas. 
Because of a reduction of the original size of the study areas some 
of these six censuses extended over a wider area than that actually 
cover-mapped. Therefore only the highest census of those representa- 
tive of the actual area mapped was used to represent the average 
number of cock calls per station. These were as follows? 

St. Clair county study area - 5»7 calls/station 
Lambton county study area No. 1-1.0 call/station 
Lambton county study area No. 2 - 0.25 calls/station 



- 8 - 

Habitat Evaluation 

The field work of mapping in the various features of the 
study area habitat began on June 20, and continued through to 
August 10. Prior to this field work, wood lots, farmsteads, field 
boundaries, roads, fences, and water courses which could be distin- 
guished on aerial photographs of each area were enlarged to a scale 
of 40 rods = 1 inch, and were transposed onto kh." by 7h" sheets of 
paper. These sheets were small enough to be carried handily in 
the field, and large enough to allow each farm to be mapped on a 
single sheet. 

Each study area was conveniently divided into blocks of 
land by the existing roads. These blocks not only formed suitable 
replicates for statistical comparisons, but also proved to be of a 
handy size for mapping the cover types. By mapping a block at a 
time it was possible to drive around the edge by car, mapping as 
far as possible into the blocko The area which was too far from 
the road to map, was done by walking in a single loop through the 
centre part of the block. 

Every acre of each study area was classified. Crops, fence 
rows, ditches, wood lots, pastures, and weedy areas were mapped 
according to a special classification system based on possible and 
probable use by pheasants, either for nesting or for winter cover. 
Four classes of fence rows and ditches were used, two classes of wood 
lots or scrubby areas, two classes of pastures, and one class was 
designated as a weedy area. 

Following the cover mapping, nearly every farmer in each 
of the study areas was interviewed (125 farmers). The interviews 
were thought necessary in order to find out if there might not be 
some factor affecting pheasants which could be controlled by the 
farmer, himself, or by the type or combination of enterprises in 
which he was engaged. The following information was sought, and in 
most cases received? acres farmed; type of enterprise; percent . 
income from farming; kind and number of grazing live stock; time of 
year manure was spread; methods of harvesting grain; fields generally 
fall plowed; amount of fence row cleaning usually done; and lastly, 
was he a hunter. The following was asked concerning the fields: 
number of acres in each field; extent, age and condition of his tile 
drainage system, if any; amount and type of fertilizer used; if lime 
used, how much; the number of pheasants seen; and lastly, whether 
he hit any nests while cutting hay. 

Time has not yet permitted the compilation of these data. 
A statistical analysis will be carried out to compare the study 
areas with respect to the following? acres of corn; acres of crop- 
land; acres of permanent pasture; acres of winter cover; and rods of 
fence rows. 



- 9 - 

Other Factors 

Other factors which have been considered, but which require 
further work before any definite conclusions can be drawn, include 
the following? 

1. Relative amounts of tile drainage in the two counties. 

2 Amount of roadside weed spraying which has been done in each 
county. 

3« Comparison of each study area with its own county with respect 
to the following? amount of tile drainage done; proportional 
acreages of the various crops and their yields; percent of farm 
land cleared; numbers of cattle and sheep; pheasants released; 
and pheasant populations. 

4. Indirect factors affecting the present enterprises and land use 
include the following? a) economic distance from suitable markets 

b) demand for labour off the farm 

c) government subsidies on drainage, lime, 
and crops 

5. Types of specialization and combinations of farm enterprises and 
their effect on pheasant cover. 

6. Other possible soil factors. 



- 10 - 

LAKE ERIE DISTRICT MUSKRATS-SEASON SUMMARY FOR 1957- 

by 
A. R. Streib and L. J. Stock 



T he Population 

High in the streams Low in the marshes - at least as 
indicated by trapping success. 

Tra ppin g Success 

Taking all reports into consideration the overall catch will 
be approximately 30% of normal. Some marsh trappers 9 take is as low 
as 20$. 

The lower catch in the streams is due to a scarcity of 
trappers, the absentees being discouraged by low prices. 

The low catch on the marshes is more difficult to assess. 
Some trappers believe the "run" occurred during a mild period in 
February before traps were set. Others believe the low water levels 
were the cause „ The latter must certainly have some effect since many 
houses were observed on almost dry land. 

The low price per pelt had a depressing effect on the entire 
take. 

There seems to be an increasing reluctance to pay a ten cent 
royalty when the pelt price is one dollar or less. 

Di sease Effect 

Unfortunately, the overall low catch will partially mask the 
population recovery rate at the Canada Club marsh where tularemia 
drastically reduced the population an estimate 80%, A recent report 
from the manager of this Club, Mr. Cliff Roy, indicates that there 
has been little or no recovery in the muskrat population during 1956-57. 

However, a normal season of reproduction and trapping next 
year should show some change in the population level. 

One trapper on Lake St. Clair reported his catch down 80% on 
100 acres. He has seen 10-12 dead animals bearing an abscess, but 
unfortunately none were saved for examination but it could have been 
tularemia. 

Another trapper this spring reported seeing at least a dozen 
dead muskrat s - all within sight at the same time. These animals were 
apparently trapped under the ice when the water receded. This mortality 
was general over his entire 100 acre marsh. Unfavorable water and ice 
conditions could have been a major cause of the low catch in the 
marshes this past season. 



-li- 



lt seems, at this time that a die-off in segments of the 
population from year to year may have been the rule, rather than a 
wide-spread epidemic. A statement by a Fur Buyer would also indicate 
this sporadic mortality. He contends that in 20 years of buying, in 
which approximately 100,000 pelts per year were handled, his purchases 
varied not more than plus or minus 10$. 

However, in 1956 his purchases dropped 50$, and in 1957 will 
be even less. This drastic reduction is unexplained unless a combina- 
tion of factors were working to reduce the population, such as disease, 
low populations due to low water levels, poor trapping conditions and 
low prices. 

Following is a Summary of the average price received per 
pelt from five Walpole Island Fur Sales, one at Point Pelee, and one 
at Jordan Stations 

Fur Sales Walpole Island 



December 21, 1956 

January 4, 1957 

January 13, 1957 

February 1, 1957 

February 15, 1957 



Fumber of 


Rats 




Av< 


arage Price Per Pelt 


1968 






.77 


737 










1.08 


1001 










.86 


650 










.79 


600 










^S 




Point 


Pelee 


Fur 


Sale 



March 28, 1957 

March 30, 1957 
TOTAL 



2022 1.03 

Trappers y Council - Jordan Station 
2500 1.10 



9478 



96.5 



p. 12- 

MARTEN RESEARCH, CHAPLEAU DISTRICT 

MAY 11TH TO MAY 3 1ST, 1957 

by 
V. Crichton 



Marten trapping for the purpose of obtaining pregnant 
marten for research purposes was carried out in the Chapleau 
District from May 11th to May 31st, 1957. 

Trapping took place on Crooked Lake in the townships of 
Brackin and Leeson situated in the Chapleau Crown Game Preserve 
with the assistance of Conservation Officer H. Tuvi of Missinaibie. 

During our period of trapping, 13 marten were caught 
consisting of nine males and four females. The two last males were 
released from the traps to allow their liberty. 

On May 13th, one female marten taken had already given 
birth to her young as the lactating teats showed signs of suckling. 
On May 21st another female was taken which showed she also had 
given birth. The other two female marten apparently were young 
adults and had not reached the breeding age. 

The skulls, baculum and reproductive tracts were collected, 
preserved and shipped to Division of Research at Maple. 

Work of this nature appears to be most suitable during 
the middle of April and the first part of May. 

The following is a table of dates of capture" 

Number ' Sox Date of Capture 



1 


Female 


May 13th, 1957 


2 


Male 


May 15th, 1957 


3 


Female 


May 16th, 19 57 


k 


Male 


May 19th, 1957 


5 


Male 


May 20th, 1957 


6 


Female 


May 21st, 1957 


7 


Male 


May 21st, 1957 


8 


Female 


May 22nd, 1957 


9 


Male 


May 23rd, 1957 


10 


Male 


May 24th, 1957 


11 


Male 


May 25th, 1957 



- 13 - 

INITIAL PLAN FOR DEER HABITAT MANIPULATION 

IN CONIFEROUS AND MIXEDWOOD SWAMPS 

OF SOUTH CANONTO TOWNSHIP, FRONTENAC COUNTY, 

JUNE 29, 1957. 

by 
Ao T. Cringan 



During May and June, 1957, I have concentrated on developing 
a plan of deer habitat manipulation for certain swamps in South 
Canonto Township, such manipulation that can be carried out by 
licencees or permittees as part of their regular operations,, 

Most of the swamps cruised to date have proven to be fully 
operable It is unlikely that any assistance other than the building 
of a few short winter roads would have to be given in order to 
accomplish the planned manipulation. 

We have intensively cruised some 11 swamps totalling 2 52 
acres in area. I am now prepared to suggest a six year plan of 
operations for these swamps, which will require the treatment of from 
33 to 52 acres of swamp annually. 

The plan is as follows; 

Season A rea to be Treated Road Building Proposed Cut 

1957-53 41 acres None 54m bd. ft. cedar 

96m bd. ft. spruce 
25m elm 

1 958-59 52 acres a little to be decided 

1959-60 86 acres a little 
1 960-61 a little 

1961-62 33 acres a little 
1962-63 40 ac res a little 

I nitial Plan 2 

The swamp designated for treatment in 1957-58 is in the 
Whitesucker Creek Valley, and is adjacent to the H.E.P. County Road 
It has been divided into nine blocks, and each of these is to be 
given a different silvi cultural treatment. The total volumes of 
marked trees in this swamp ares 

white cedar - 54,000 FBM 

spruces - 96,000 FBM 

balsam - 2,100 cubic feet 

poplars - 3,300 cubic feet 

black ash - 7,000 FBM 

white elm - 25,000 FBM 



to 
to 


be 
be 


decided 
decided 


to 
to 


be 
be 


decided 

decided 



- 14 - 

The timber on an additional 3.2 acres is to be cut as the permittee 
wishes. Thus a total cut of about 200,000 FBM plus 50-60 cords of 
pulpwood seems indicated. This swamp is now ready to be disposed of. 

E ffect of Management on Deer 

All logging in these swamps should be done between December 
and March. In this way a large supply of deer browse from the tops 
of trees cut will be available during the operations. There will be 
an immediate improvement in the food supply. 

There should also be, in every case, an improvement in the 
range following logging, that will show up within a few years. 

Initial Pl an 3 

Experience elsewhere suggests that such improved conditions 
should last for 3 5 years or so. Therefore, treatment of these 252 
acres of swamp should result in 252 acres of superior winter deer 
range lasting from about I960 until 2000. 

Michigan, coniferous swamps have a carrying capacity of 
as high as two or three deer per acre during the "pinch period". 
Possibly the superior swamps which will result from operations in 
South Canonto Township will carry a deer per acre through this period. 

If so, the proposed six year plan will increase the carrying 
capacity of the township by 252 deer. If hunters continue to accept 
a hunter success of 30%, and if the allowable harvest remains at 
30% of the deer herd, this will mean that there will be 75 more 
harvestable deer in the township each year, and that about 250 more 
hunters will be able to do so. 

In terms of revenue, from sales of deer licences and Land 
Use Permits for hunt camps, this would likely mean an extra v2000 per 
year over and above the present revenue from the townships deer herd. 

In itial P lan k 

In addition, operations will bring in a certain revenue to 
the Timber Management Division. I am unable to go into this subject 
in sufficient detail at present. 

Future Pl ans 

There are in excess of 1000 acres of swamps in South Canonto 
Township that could be treated as deer winter range. At the conclu- 
sion of the six-year plan I suggest, it may be desirable to continue 
with the treatment of new swamp areas each year. However, there may 
be a limit to the desired carrying capacity of the township because 
of concentration of hunters. That is, 1000 acres of choice winter 
range might mean that there would be a surplus of harvestable deer. 
It is a situation which we must be on the alert for as the results 
of habitat manipulation become apparent. 



- 15 - 

Outline - Investigations Into the Manipulation of Winter Range of 

White-tailed Deer on Crown Land in South Canonto Township, 
Frontenac County, 

Objectives 

The immediate objective is» 

To develop techniques which will quantitatively, and/ or 
qualitatively improve winter food and shelter conditions for the 
white-tailed deer that will be suitable for use on Crown Lands. 

The ultimate objective is; 

To demonstrate that the production of white-tailed deer 
can be increased through manipulation of its winter habitat. 

Fields of Habitat Manipulation 

Game habitat management of Crown Lands may conceivably be 
carried out in four general ways, as follows ° a 

1. General habitat-influencing practices that can be profitably 

carried out by operating licencees and permitees, as required in 
their management plans, without assistance,, 

2o General habitat-influencing practices that cannot be profitably 
carried out by operating licencees and permitees without 
assistance; these measures could be applied as conditions of 
logging, provided a satisfactory means of subsidizing the opera- 
tions can be discovered. 

Outline 2 

3. Intensive cultural treatment of non-commercial species, such as 
mountain maple, that could profitably be done by the Department, 
as part of its game management program. 

4o Intensive cultural practices that are not profitable to the 

Department that could be done voluntarily by sportsmen" either 
organized clubs or holders of Land Use Permits for deer hunt 
camps might feel sufficient proprietory interest in management 
to cooperate in such schemes. 



- 16 - 

CREEL CENSUS - 1956 - SaULT STE. MARIE DISTRICT 

by 
K. H. Loftus 



A creel census was conducted in the Sault Ste. Marie 
District for the sixth consecutive year in 1956. 

As in past years the data were gathered at the travel permit 
gates on the White River road, the Thessalon-Chapleau highway and 
the Ranger Lake road. Log books were supplied to the tourist opera- 
tors in the Sand Lake Division and other areas and provided most 
useable data. In contrast to last year's decline in amount and 
quality of data gathered at the travel permit gates, when only 634 
anglers reported their catch, a total of 5? 501 anglers furnished 
data which were evaluated in this creel census report. In addition 
to this enormous increase of creel census cards from the travel 
permit gates, the log books returned by the tourist operators con- 
tained the reports of 2,287 anglers compared with a total of 1,566 
in 1955 and only 456 creel census cards in 1954. 

A nalysis 

A summary for the total summer angler census appears in 
Table #1, while Tables #2 and #3 represent the breakdown by tourist 
operators and travel permit gates respectively. Table #4 presents 
a list of more important waters for which tourist operators as well 
as travel permit gates submitted data, and on which we should follow 
angling trends for a number of years „ They will render considerable 
help for our future fish management in the Sault Ste. Marie District. 

A grand total of 7,7$$ anglers fished 53>685 hours during 
the summer months, an average of 6.9 hours per angler. Eight hundred 
and eighteen anglers, or 10.7$ of the total number reported no success 
during a total of 3,628 hours or 6.8$ of all rod hours. Of the 
remaining anglers, 3,035 or 39.8$ fished for speckled trout and spent 
a total of 18,076 hours (34.4$) on the waters. Two thousand, four 
hundred and twenty-four (31 « 7$) anglers fished a total of 20,490 hours 
(39$) for pike. Nine hundred and fifty-three (12.6$) tried their 
luck for lake trout during 8,592 hours (16.2$), while only 334 
(4*3$) fished 1,696 hours (3.2$) for pickerel. Forty-nine anglers 
(0.5$) fished 115 hours (0.2$) for bass and the remaining 31 anglers 
(0.3$) spent 155 hours (0.3$) for other species. 

Speckled Trout 

Speckled trout, as evident, again remained the most desir- 
able fish species and they were caught at the rate of 0.8 fish per 
hour-. This represents a slight decline if compared with the 1955 
rate of 0.9 fish per hour. In the 1955 creel census report 11 a 



3€ See Fish and Wildlife Management Report No. 31, October 1, 1956. 



- 17 - 

decline in the quality of speckled trout fishing was predicted 
because of the drought conditions prevailing in 1955 and this unfav- 
ourable condition doubtlessly resulted in the above mentioned 
decline,, The average length of speckled trout caught decreased 
sharply from twelve inches in 1955 to eleven inches during 1956 and 
correspondingly the average creel weight dropped from three pounds, 
three ounces to one pound, fifteen ounces. 

Comparing the success rate of speckled trout caught per 
hour from the data obtained by tourist operators, which indicates 
a rate of l o 02 fish caught per hour, with the data gathered from 
the travel permit gates, which show a rate of success of 0.6 fish 
per hour, it may be concluded that hiring guides and perhaps more 
intensive replanting based upon greater knowledge concerning the 
actual situation of the waters may be the important factors for 
increasing the success rate so considerably. 

G reat Northern Pike 

Fishing for pike ranks high in popularity as indicated by 
the data evaluated. This excellent game fish will doubtlessly 
remain the most important species for the itinerant angler on the 
Chapleau highway. As a matter of fact, the time spent for fishing 
pike exceeds the time devoted for speckled trout fishing by 2,414 
hours or 4«6% of the total rod hours. The rate of capture for every 
fish retained was 0.41 fish per hour compared with a rate of 0.9 per 
hour during 1955 » This, however, gives no reason to become alarmed 
as a total of 4*249 pike were released. When adding these 4,249 pike 
to the $ 9 406 retained, we arrive at a total of 12,055 pike caught 
or at a catch rate of 0.6 per hour. It appears that the anglers 
voluntarily raised the standard of good sportsmanship as numerous 
reports indicate that a great many pike up to 25 inches were relea- 
sed and only the "big ones" up to 36 inches to 3$ inches and more 
were retained. In general, the average length of all pike retained 
increased from 25 inches in 1955 to 25.5 inches in 1956. The average 
gross weight retained by each angler dropped markedly from 26 pounds, 
4 ounces in 1955 to 14 pounds, 8 ounces in 1956. The average 
angling time for pike in 1955 was 7»9 hours and increased to 8.1 
hours in 1956. However, during the month of July, when pike are 
not eagerly striking, pike fishermen spent a total of 8,032 rod 
hours or 39 « 2% of all pike angling hours on the waters. During this 
month it required 3-2 hours to catch a pike, while it required only 
1.4 hours to catch a pike in June and 2.5 hours during August. 
Furthermore, the enormous increase of data, jumping from 373 pike 
anglers in 1955 to 2,424 in 1956, may account for the decline in 
pike fishing. On the other hand, the 1956 data for pike fishing are 
a more raliable approach to the entire pike situation than the data 
of previous years. 

L ake Trout 

As far .as lake trout is concerned, it can again be noted 
that the angler needed 2.5 hours to catch one fish, a slight decrease 



- id - 

compared with last year's figure when it required 2.7 hours to land 
a fish. The average length sharply decreased from 19-. 5 inches in 
1955 to 18 inches in 1956. Similarily, the creel weight per angler 
decreased from 7 pounds, 3 ounces in 1955 to 6 pounds, 2 ounces in 
1956. The average lake trout angler spent 808 hours in 1955 and 
9 hours in 1956. 

P ickerel 

The improved census in 1956 enables us to approach a better 
understanding of the pickerel situation. Three hundred and thirty- 
four anglers spent on the average of five hours each to catch a total 
of 702 pickerel, a catch rate of 0.41 fish per hour. Pickerel 
averaged 18,5 inches compared with 18 inches for last year's data. 
Generally speaking, a slight improvement over the 1955 situation can 
be observed. 

S mallmouth Bass 

The smallmouth bass angler seemed to be relatively fortunate 
as compared with former years as bass were caught at a rate of 1.1 
fish per hour compared with a low of 0.3 in the two preceding years. 
The average length also increased from 13 inches to 14«5 inches. 
The average gross weight almost doubled in half the time. It seems, 
however, inadvisable and premature to attempt to draw conclusions 
concerning this species because of the restricted number of creel 
census reports. 

Rainbow Trout and Splake 

Despite the increase of creel census reports, no information 
could be obtained concerning these species. 

Comments 

It is felt that the improved census taken at the travel 
permit gates, as well as the data furnished by the tourist operators, 
brought us very close to an adequate census of the district's angling 
in 1956. The knowledge obtained from the data will doubtlessly be 
instrumental in the district's future fish management. The census 
clearly shows where we have to concentrate our water surveys to be 
carried out during the coming summer. In addition, the creel census 
will become more and more essential for our fish restocking programme. 

The remaining gap in our information is still the southern 
part of the district, which involves the best bass fishing area. 
Plans to obtain information will be made through the efforts of 
Conservation Officers, Tourist Operators, and local Rod and Gun Clubs, 
to overcome this weak link in our management practice * 

It is planned to expand the use of log books and include 
as many tourist operators as possible. Close cooperation with them 
will doubtlessly prove to be fruitful. 



- 19 - 

The file of census data for individual lakes has been 
expanded considerably and reveals valuable information We will 
endeavour to expand this file to cover as many fishing waters as 
possible so that first hand facts for future planning will always be 
available. In addition, this file will be of interest to the public 
in general. 



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CM 




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3 


3 


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3 


PC 


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CCS 










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NO 




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ITS 



ON 



CV 



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to 



CO 


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3 


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CV 




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NO 


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- 23 - 
TABLE #4 - List of More Important Waters 



N ame of Water 

L ake Trout 

Bell Lake 
Charette Lake 
Clear Lake 
Clear L« (133) 
Constance L, 
Doby Lake 
East Lake 
Garden Lake 
Gould Lake 
Gray Trout L. 
Guide Lake 
Izaak Lake 
Kindiogami L. 
Mashagama Lake 
McClung Lake 
Moccasin Lake 
Mountain Lake 
Peshu Lake 
Pig Pen Chute 
Ranger Lake 
Rawhide Lake 
Rawhide Lake* 
Rocky Is. L. 
Rouelle Lake 
Sand Lake 
Saymo Lake 
Seabrook Lake 
Seymour Lake 
Shoepack Lake 
Sparks Lake 
Square Lake 
Three Lakes 
Wakomata 
White Lake 



No. of 
No. of Rod 
Anglers H ours 



5 
7 

59 

34 
2 

14 
4 
6 

20 
4 
5 
1 

40 

3 

3 

11 
10 

35 
2 

233 
41 

132 

7 

26 

11 

145 

9 
13 

3 

6 

31 
15 
73 
22 



70 
204 
266 

294 
16 

77 

26 

95 

144 

44 

50 

9 

437 

217 

9 

57 
76 

384 
16 

2257 

264 

1046 

61 

270 

52 

1441 

43 

116 

17 
120 
103 
166 
543 
157 



x Tourist Operators* Reports 



Fish 
Retained 



62 
37 
124 
65 
3 
70 
16 

49 
32 

7 

27 

10 

245 

75 

1 
43 
31 
65 

5 
1143 

195 

259 

63 

50 

3 

575 
10 

35 
13 
22 
33 

62 
103 

67 



Fish Average 
Released Length 



6 
5 



20 



77 
10 

7 
1 



211 



Pike 



17" 

15" 

16.5" 

17" 

20" 

12.5" 

15" 

19" 

17" 

13.5" 

17" 

14. 0" 

14.5" 

15" 

24" 

15" 

13" 

23" 

15" 

17.5" 

14" 

20.5" 

23" 

23" 

23.5" 

17" 

22" 

16" 

13" 

14" 

14" 

15.5" 

19" 

14" 



Hours 
Per 

Fish 



1.1 
5.0 
2.1 
3.3 
2,6 
1.1 
1.6 
2.0 
5.0 
6.3 
1.4 
0.9 
1.3 

2.5 

9.0 

1.2 

2.1 

5.0 

4.1 

2.0 

1.3 

4.0 

0.93 

3.1 

6.5 

2.5 

4.3 

3.1 
1.3 

5.5 
3.1 
2.5 
5.3 
2.3 



Agawa River 


4 


4 


11 


ma 


15" 


0.36 


An ji garni L. 


96 


456 


37 


34 


23.5" 


5.2 


Berry Lake 


13 


76 


52 


32 


13 8S 


1.4 


Big Pike L. 


24 


49 


13 


_ 


17" 


4.0 


Clear L. (133) 


6 


23 


7 


— 


24" 


3.3 


Constance L. 


2 


14 


4 


_ 


20" 


2.6 


Gould Lake 


13 


123 


26 


— 


25" 


5.0 


Green Lake 


35 


345 


393 


425 


24" 


2.1 


Guide Lake 


4 


30 


21 


- 


22 ij 


1.4 



- 24 - 







No. of 








Hours 




No. of 


Rod 


Fish 


Fish 


Average 


Per 


Name of Water 


Anglers 


Hours . 


Retained 


Released 


Length 


Fish 


Hinckler Lake 


12 


102 


23 


_ 


26" 


3.6 


Little Pike L. 


13 


15 


6 


- 


16" 


2.5 


Mar i sea Lake 


6 


119 


15 


— 


26" 


3.0 


Mashagama L. 


3 


33 


15 


- 


21" 


2.5 


Mississagi R. 


182 


997 


406 


52 


24" 


2.4 


Mountain Ash L. 


26 


257 


97 


34 


23" 


2.5 


Mountain Lake 


30 


201 


97 


16 


24" 


2.1 


Ogas Lake 


14 


94 


15 


7 


22" 


6.3 


Peshu Lake 


60 


714 


152 


202 


25" 


5.0 


Pig Pen Chute 


12 


66 


14 


- 


21" 


4.1 


Ranger Lake 


13 


64 


56 


- 


25" 


1.1 


Rocky Is. L. 


575 


3212 


2632 


1220 


25.5" 


2.5 


Rouelle Lake 


174 


2102 


633 


252 


24.5" 


3.1 


Round Lake 


6 


16 


4 


70 


20 s ' 


4.0 


Seabrook Lake 


39 


444 


151 


20 


2 5" 


2.0 


Seven Mile L. 


114 


1606 


572 


— 


23" 


3.3 


Snowshoe Creek 


8 


13 


16 


- 


22*' 


0.3 


Spike Lake 


3 


20 


17 


— 


22 s ' 


1.1 


Trolling Lake 


9 


214 


24 


36 


21" 


3.3 


Wakoraata Lake 


11 


132 


15 


- 


22" 


15.1 


Speckled Trout 














Agawa River 


43 


199 


104 


25 


9.5" 


2.0 


Bald Mountain L, 


14 


143 


25 


— 


15" 


6.0 


Bell Lake 


6 


53 


49 


3 


11.5" 


1.1 


Bear Lake 


2 


6 


10 


_ 


13" 


0.6 


Berg Lake 


7 


19 


14 


_ 


10.0" 


1.3 


Bergland Lake 


19 


60 


56 


— 


12.5" 


1.1 


Black Lake 


22 


103 


53 


— 


10" 


2.0 


Black Spruce L. 


11 


23 


12 


3 


9.5" 


2.4 


Boundry Lake 


15 


53 


44 


- 


12" 


1.3 


Bull Moose L. 


4 


16 


15 


. 


10" 


1.1 


Burden Lake 


7 


31 


16 


- 


14" 


2.0 


Calahan Lake 


39 


124 


45 


3 


9.5" 


2.7 


Charette Lake 


24 


235 


67 


- 


11" 


4.3 


Crudermill L. 


11 


45 


37 


6 


10.5" 


0.5 


Doby Lake 


3 


25 


10 


— 


11" 


2.5 


Dossier Lake 


126 


462 


996 


51 


12.5" 


0.43 


Doyle Lake 


35 


94 


243 


33 


10" 


0.36 


East Lake 


6 


75 


96 


— 


11" 


0.3 


Eleven Mile L. 


106 


191 


1032 


35 


9.5" 


0.17 


Fern Lake 


13 


210 


54 


11 


12.5" 


4.0 


Garden Lake 


157 


992 


963 


229 


10.5" 


1.03 


Gravel River 


42 


192 


134 


- 


9.5" 


1.4 


Guide Lake 


5 


50 


76 


11 


12" 


0.7 


Hamper Creek 


7 


41 


27 


- 


15.5" 


1.5 


Horseshoe Lake 


17 


64 


44 


- 


12.5" / 


1.4 


Izaak Lake 


73 


450 


73 


- 


12" 


6.0 


Jean Anne L. 


36 


123 


32 


- 


16" 


4.0 


Jirnmie Lake 


33 


110 


21 


- 


14.5" 


5.0 


Kaye Lake 


4 


9 


7 


3 


10" 


1.2 



- 25 - 







No. of 








Hours 




No. of 


Rod 


Fish 


Fish 


Average 


Per 


Name of Water 


Anglers 


Hours 


Retained 


Released 


Length 


Fish 


Kindiogami L. 


18 


96 


82 


_ 


9»» 


1.2 


Kwagama Lake 


295 


1897 


1069 


20 


14" 


1.9 


Lafee Creek 


50 


120 


61 


34 


9.5" 


2.0 


Laughing Lake 


17 


175 


148 


- 


12" 


1.2 


Leorne Lake 


16 


77 


88 


- 


14" 


0.8 


Long Lake 


47 


205 


333 


3 


12.5" 


0.6 


Maki Lake 


6 


36 


30 


- 


13" 


1.1 


Massey Lake 


13 


52 


133 


15 


13" 


0.4 


Mashagama L. 


151 


2821 


113 5 


59 


15" 


2.5 


McClung Lake 


10 


54 


21 


- 


12.5" 


2.5 


Menzie Lake 


15 


72 


100 


23 


9.5" 


0.72 


Mich Lake 


22 


124 


57 


- 


10.5" 


2.0 


Mine Lake 


36 


236 


379 


- 


11" 


0.6 


Mississagi R. 


8 


42 


22 


- 


10" 


2.0 


Morrison Lake 


39 


118 


150 


18 


9.5" 


0.7 


Mountain Lake 


7 


49 


29 


7 


12" 


1.7 


Otter Lake 


35 


82 


53 


8 


10" 


1.5 


Overland Lake 


105 


521 


300 


10 


9.5" 


1.7 


Pelt Lake 


13 


14 


12 


- 


13" 


1.2 


Pipoli Lake 


2 


4 


1 


- 


19" 


4.0 


Portage Pond 


28 


94 


115 


— 


10" 


0.8 


Ranger Lake 


70 


887 


597 


16 


11.5" 


1.6 


Rapid River 


78 


371 


247 


87 


10" 


1.4 


Rocky Is. Lake 


10 


146 


117 


18 


11.5" 


1.2 


Round Lake 


2 


35 


37 


- 


12" 


0.9 


Royal Lake 


38 


112 


163 


10 


11" 


0.7 


Sand Lake 


172 


753 


278 


42 


10.5" 


2.7 


Sandra Lake 


19 


82 


26 


— 


16" 


3.1 


Sand River 


33 


153 


188 


61 


11" 


0.8 


Saymo Lake 


30 


176 


128 


22 


12.5" 


1.4 


Seabrook Lake 


4 


30 


19 


- 


12" 


1.6 


Seymour Lake 


14 


98 


42 


— 


12" 


2.5 


Sherman Lake 


20 


29 


21 


_ 


12" 


1.3 


Sonny Creek 


2 


5 


7 


- 


10" 


C 7 


Solitaire Lake 


161 


767 


745 


15 


14" 


1.03 


Spruce Lake 


32 


164 


180 


52 


10" 


0.9 


Square Lake 


4 


15 


5 


- 


12" 


3.0 


Stoney Creek 


8 


6 


4 


m. 


11" 


1.5 


Tabor Lake 


6 


28 


57 


— 


12" 


0.5 


Three Lakes 


5 


43 


28 


- 


12" 


1.5 


Trolling Lake 


3 


24 


27 


— 


9*» 


0.9 


Twin Lake 


16 


71 


73 


15 


16" 


1.0 


Whitman Lake 


15 


84 


111 


7 


9.5" 


0.8 


White River 


3 


27 


39 


— 


11.5" 


0.7 


Zero Lake 


27 


116 


112 


- 


11" 


1.0 


Pickerel 














Anjigami Lake 


189 


800 


244 


251 


18.5" 


3.2 


Mississagi R. 


30 


154 


55 


- 


19.5" 


2.5 


Ogas Lake 


30 


146 


69 


15 


17" 


2.1 


Pig Pen Chute 


16 


62 


25 


. 


19" 


2.5 


Rouelle Lake 


1 


12 


5 


_ 


18" 


2.5 


White River 


11 


101 


72 


- 


20.5" 


1.4 



- 26 - 

CREEL CENSUS AND ITS FUTURE ROLE IN FISHERIES 
MANAGEMENT OF THE WESTERN REGION 

by 

J. Mo Fraser 



Introduction 

Creel Census is the technique of collecting catch records 
of sport fishing. The creel census has numerous variations running 
from the intensive creel census which attempts to record every fish 
removed from a body of water by angling to the extensive creel census 
which gathers bits of information on angling from whatever sources 
are available . 

Essentially the creel census is an inventory of our sport 
fish populations and its purpose is much the same as that of the 
game checking station or the records kept in fur management - it tells 
us where we stand in management. Similarly the annual inventory in 
a department store informs the management of what is on hand and what 
changes in policy and management are required. 

An excellent study by Fry (Methods of Creel Census and 
Angling Returns) outlines the history of the creel census, evaluates 
the methods used and points out the use of this technique. He states 
that the information obtained through creel census can be divided 
into three broad categories. 

1. Surveys of angling success. 

2. Evaluations of management practices. 

3. Contributions to the theory of fisheries. 

T he Western Region - Appraisal 

The three districts of the western region are generally 
speaking quite similar in the type and quality of angling they have 
to offer. All have large water areas divided into numerous lakes 
of which some receive moderate exploitation and others none. The 
shallow lakes generally yield pickerel and pike (some also bass and 
maskinonge) while the deeper lakes yield lake trout and some warm 
water species as well. The pickerel-pike lakes are in the majority 
and sustain by far the greater exploitation by anglers. 

The various lakes with few exceptions are producing good 
fishing and generally speaking the requirements of fisheries manage- 
ment are not urgent in this region. The multitude and size of 
these waters does not allow individual lake management even if it 
were required except in a few instances. 



- 27 r 

As to what is happening in our lakes can only be guessed 
at. Undoubtedly there are some natural changes and also year to 
year fluctuations in the size and species composition of our fish 
populations. There is little that can be done by man in this respect. 

Man, however, is affecting our natural fish populations in 
at least three ways. 

1. Some waters are being polluted (Wabigoon River and Rainy River) 
while others are undergoing a possible change in their habitat 
(effect of Steeprock on Rainy Lake). 

2. Man has introduced new species of fish (smallmouth bass to Lake 
of the Woods and English River) and is continuing this practice 
(pickerel to lake trout waters). 

3. Man is fishing these lakes both commercially and for sport. 

Natural changes we can do little more than to recognize 
and attempt to adjust to. Conditions ffl and 2 above are separate 
studies in themselves. Condition #3 is common to all lakes and 
involves the production of fish from them. We have fairly reliable 
catch records of the commercial fisheries but relatively few of the 
sport fishery which is the most important one. 

Although we have had little compiled catch data from 
anglers we know that generally speaking our sport fish populations 
are in good shape. We know that possibly in some of the more popular 
lakes that "fishing isn ? t what it used to be (v but we also are aware 
that there were much fewer people angling Si way back when*' . 

This brings up the question - just how good is good fishing? 
Ask a dozen people this question and you will probably get a dozen 
different answers. Their answers depend on what kind of sportsman 
they are, where they have been fishing and to whom they have been 
listening. 

To give us a reliable picture of angling conditions we need 
actual data obtained from anglers as to their catch and the time 
required to take this catch. This is the purpose of the creel census . 
This information is basic to fisheries management and a brief look 
at the results of Minnesota 9 s creel census will possibly demonstrate 
this fact. 

The Creel Census in Minnesota 

The Minnesota Conservation Department has carried out an 
intensive creel census on twelve representative Minnesota lakes for 
the past few years. Three of these lakes are located in northern 
Minnesota and are similar to our warm water pickerel and pike lakes. 
These lakes are 2-3 1./2 square miles in area and creel census men 
keep daily counts of anglers on the lakes and contact as many anglers 
as possible. The information they have obtained has been analysed 
by Moyle (1955) <> The most important information has beens 



r 23 T 

1. The total catch of various species in pounds per acre. 

2. The catch per angling-hour e 

3. The total number of angling-hours. 

These three lakes are heavily angled, each acre of water 
receiving 17-37 hours of angling per season, The total catch from 
these lakes ranges between 2.7 and 11.9 pounds per acre for pickerel 
and 2.0-5.4 pounds of pike per acre per year. The average angler 
on these lakes catches a- pickerel or pike every 4-5 hours. Although 
the fishing pressure is heavy and the individuals catch is poor 
the high total production of these lakes is not decreasing and signs 
of depletion are not evident. 

T heory of W a rm Water Spo rt Fisheries 

The findings of the Minnesota creel census have brought to 
light certain considerations concerning pickerel-pike lakes which 
should have a bearing on future fisheries management in the western 
region. Their findings are the following" 

1. northern pickerel-pike lakes can bear a relatively heavy angling 
pressure. 

2. Heavy angling pressure is required to get maximum production 
from this type of lake. 

3 o Angling becomes very poor (by our standards) before this type of 
lake is depleted. 

4. These lakes are not depleted because the total production from 
the lake is not decreasing. 

Possibly the following diagram may serve to illustrate the 
above findings. 




, 29 - 

The outer circle represents (say) the pickerel population 
in a lake while the inner circle represents the fish that are neces- 
sary to reproduce and provide future fishing. The space between the 
inner and outer circles is, therefore, the crop. The short arrows 
penetrating the outer circle denotes the fishing pressure required 
to take (say) two pounds of pickerel per acre from the lake at the 
rate of one fish per hour per angler. If the fishing pressure is 
doubled (adding the long arrows) we do no t double the production of 
fish to four pounds per acre - possibly three pounds per acre might 
be taken. However, to take three pounds to the acre the individual's 
catch may drop to 1/2 fish per hour. As the fishing pressure is 
increased the law of diminishing returns comes into play as far as 
the individual angler is concerned since his catch may be down to 
one pickerel every four to five hours and still the reproductive 
potential of the pickerel population (inner circle) is untouched. 

Some Considerations 

The Minnesota findings have important considerations for 
future management in the western region. In this region we do not 
have the detailed information that Minnesota has (it costs them 
&6l,000 per year) but we have some creel census data for the Kenora 
District that may permit a loose comparison. (Ilote - this comparison 
is between three heavily fished northern Minnesota lakes under 
intensive creel census and a general limited creel census of lakes 
in the Kenora District.) 

Our limited data, based on 30,000 fishing hours in 1954 
and 1955 show that in our moderately fished lakes pickerel and pike 
combined are taken at the rate of one per hour. In three Minnesota 
Lakes they were taken at the rate of one every four to five hours. 
The fishing pressure, however, on these three lakes ranged between 
17 and 37 hours per acre of water compared to maybe two hours per 
acre in our waters. The production of their lakes ranged from 2.7 
to 11.9 pounds of pickerel per acre and 2.0 to 5-4 pounds per acre 
for pike. In comparison we take probably one to two pounds of 
pickerel in the more heavily fished waters and possibly one pound of 
pike per acre. 

Biologically it appears that we have little to worry about 
insofar as our warm water lakes are concerned unless an accelerated 
influx of non-resident fishermen occurs. If the fishing pressure 
becomes progressively heavier we can expect an increase in the 
production of fish from our lakes and also a decrease in the quality 
of fishing. How far should it be permitted to decrease or should 
this decrease be controlled and checked at a certain point? 

This question of course hinges on the future development 
of western Ontario and the position of the tourist industry in this 
development. It hinges on whether this area will remain an angling 
area or evolve into a recreational area. It also brings up the 
controversial subject of zoning which depends essentially on how 
powerful a factor the quality of angling in this district is in the 
competition of the local tourist industry with that of other provinces 
and states. 



- 30 - 
Creel Census Suggestions 

There is no necessity for an intensive creel census study- 
in the western region. Rather, each district should ease into such 
a study in an experimental way to determine what method is most 
feasible. There are situations and conditions in each district that 
may be ideal for a certain type of creel census. The location of 
ranger stations and towers may be such that counts of anglers on a 
lake could be made daily and possibly some of the anglers contacted. 
Counts of boats or anglers on important lakes could be made from 
aircraft on their routine patrols. Actually if the number of anglers 
on a lake (say Rainy Lake or Minnitaki Lake") could be counted on 10 
different days (including a weekend) rough estimates of fishing 
pressure could be made and if enough anglers were contacted also an 
estimate of the production of fish. 

The Kenora District has collected its creel census data 
for the past two years in several ways. Creel census cards were 
distributed to some 300 tourist outfitters 7 camps for use by their 
guests but returns were so poor that we have given up this method. 
We have had more success with creel census log books and now have 
a number of guides, local anglers and a few camp operators collecting 
this information each year. Last year Conservation Officers on 
patrol collected a portion of the creel census data. From all 
sources 16,000 angling hours in 1954 and 14,000 in 1955 were recorded. 

Possibly enough anglers are checked by Conservation 
Officers each year to provide sufficient information and it is 
suggested that this method be attempted region-wise during the coming 
angling season. As each Conservation Officer probably checks over 
1,000 anglers in a season the combined data will be considerable. 
Furthermore, this method will in no way conflict with the Conservation 
Officer 7 s regular activities. 

There are sufficient Creel Census Log Books at the Kenora 
office to provide each Conservation Officer in the region with as 
many as he will require. In order that the collection and recording 
of information will be standarized a sheet of instructions will 
also be made available. The Kenora District Biologist will be 
pleased to assist in the analysis of data for each district if such 
assistance is required. 

Tourist Outfitters and the Creel Census 

The tourist outfitters direct about 90% of the non-resident 
angling carried out in the region and are in an excellent position 
to observe angling activity and success on their respective lakes. 
Their co-operation should be sought in the management of the 
resources they indirectly exploit. 

For the past three years the Kenora District has sent a 
questionnaire each fall to some 300 outfitters in this district. 
This questionnaire (see attached form) merely asked the number of 
fishing guests the camp catered to, the average number of days they 
fished and the average daily catch of one angler from the lakes 
fished by that camp. One third of the outfitting camps have com- 
pleted and returned the questionnaire and we feel that some very 
worthwhile information was collected in this manner. 



- 31 - 

It has been interesting to note from these questionnaires 
that the catch of pickerel and pike taken by some of the larger 
camps in a three to four month season has exceeded the annual catch 
of many commercial fishermen with unrestricted gill net licences. 

This questionnaire method of obtaining information on 
angling requires little trouble and expense and could be readily 
adapted for use in other districts. 

L ake Trout Lakes in the Western Region 

The preceding discussion has been mainly concerned with 
warm water lakes and angling for warm water species. There are, 
however, a large number of fine lake trout lakes ranging from less 
than one square mile to over 50 square miles in area. 

From studies conducted in other areas it is known that lake 
trout lakes will not provide the angling that warm water lakes offer. 
The habits of the lake trout, its habitat, its rate of growth, its 
reproductive potential and various other factors make it a species 
that is more vulnerable to angling pressure. Studies in Algonquin 
Park and other areas have shown that annual yields of less than 
1/2 pound per acre are the rule compared to three to nine pounds 
for pickerel. 

In the majority of our lake trout lakes the angling is 
concentrated in the spring and fall periods when the lake trout are 
in shallow water. During the winter months a few accessible lakes 
are popular with resident anglers. The fact that lake trout angling 
is concentrated at certain times of the year may possibly allow a 
more thorough census of lake trout angling. 

Summary and Conclusion 

Generally speaking angling is excellent in the western 
region. The lakes of this region are not yielding maximum production 
because they do not receive the intensive fishing pressure necessary 
to obtain maximum production. There is reason to believe that in 
our warm water lakes the angling success of the individual angler 
will become very poor before the maximum production of the lake is 
reached. It would seem that moderate angling success rather than 
maximum production should be the objective of management regarding 
these lakes. 



In future years we can expect an increase in fishing 
pressure which will increase the production of fish from our lakes 
and simultaneously lower the angling success of the individual 
angler. At the present time we have little factual knowledge of the 
increase in angling pressure to date and only a very general picture 
of angling success. 

Our primary need in respect to fish management in the 
Western Region is a year to year record of angling pressure and its 
effect on the fish populations and on the individual angler 9 s success. 



- 32 ~ 

The number of non-resident angling licences sold in each 
district would be an excellent index of fishing pressure and the 
information should be made available to each district. 

To provide us with information on angling success the 
following suggestions are made to the districts of the western region. 

1. It is suggested that each Conservation Officer record the 
information he receives when checking anglers on a creel census 
book. 

2. It is suggested that the tourist outfitters 7 questionnaire 
survey be tried by the districts of this region. 

The creel census is merely a refinement of what each 
Conservation Officer and each district is doing - evaluating the 
angling from year to year. By recording the information in a 
standard method angling success is "pinned down'' in a form that is 
more useful to the Department in present day administration „ It will 
also be of considerable help to those entrusted with the management 
and administration of these resources in future years. 

References? 

F ry, Fc E, S . 

Methods of creel census and angling returns , Ontario Fisheries 
Research Laboratory, mimeo. 

Movie, J. B. and D. R. Fr an klin , 1955 

Creel Census of 12 Minnesota Lakes. Fisheries Research 
Investigational Report #159? Minn, , Dept. of Cons., Div, of 
Game and Fish, Bureau of Fisheries. 



- 33 - 



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- 34 - 

A REPORT OF ANGLING IN FANSHAWE LAKE 

by 

J. D 9 Roseborough 

Department of Lands and Forests, Aylrner 

TOs The Upper Thames Valley Conservation Authority 

Introduction 

Fanshawe Lake is a 645 acre impoundment in London and W. 
Nissouri Townships, eight miles from the centre of London, Angling 
on this body of water is most important, because of the lake's 
proximity to a large ccncentration of people, and because of the 
overwhelming absence of opportunities for angling in the rest of the 
County, 

In 1952 when the lake was impounded, there probably existed 
a relatively small population of fish common throughout the Thames 
River including smallmouth and largemouth bass, yellow pickerel, pike, 
carp, bullheads and catfish, pumkinseed, rock bass and other sunfish, 
as well as a variety of minnows. 

Since the impounded water had a depth greater than 40 feet 
in some locations, there was a possibility that trout could live 
during the summer in the colder waters of the bottom,, As a result a 
large number of Kamloops and speckled trout were stocked in 1953 and 
1954 in an attempt to establish fishing for one of these species. 
Returns of trout to the angler were discouraging during 1954 and 1955. 

In 1955, a survey of the lake (species, temperatures, 
bottom types, vegetation, etc.) was carried on by the Dept. of Planning 
and Development. From the information gathered, it was apparent that 
the existing river populations (1952) had increased tremendously and 
that management of the lake for warm-water species of fish instead of 
trout species, was the most desirable approach. 

Coarse fish removal by netting (commercial or otherwise) 
was not considered to be a suitable management technique at the time. 
Removal of fish by poisoning and introduction of desirable species 
was not considered practical without the control of immigration from 
the upper reaches of the river. Stocking of warm water species was 
believed to be valueless because the survey showed suitable spawning 
facilities existed for most species, and the value of plantings of 
young under these conditions is highly questionable. 

It was obvious in 1955 that the lake was under-used by 
anglers, in relation to the number of fish present, With such a 
large population of fish of the Sunfish Family, a great deal of 
angling could be carried on without utilizing even a small portion 
of the total annual production. Also it was predicted in March 1955* 
that a (large) population of smallmouth bass would be available to 
the angler in 1956. 



t 35 - 

P rogramme 

In view of the information which was available, it was 
recommended that the best management of the lake in 1956 wass 

1. to increase the number of anglers utilizing the present stocks 
of fish, 

2. to record the fishing success, and 

3. to assess the size of the smallmouth bass population in the lake 
in order to decide on the advisability of managing the lake 
primarily for this species. 

A plan to accomplish this, included a check of anglers by 
the Authority, and planting of tagged adult smallmouth bass in the 
lake during July by the Dept. of Lands and Forests. Once local ang- 
lers learned that 13-1$" bass had been planted in the Lake, it was 
believed that there would be an automatic increase in the fishing 
pressure, which had formerly been insignificant because of lack of 
interest. The increase in the number of anglers would allow a satis- 
factory record of fishing success to be made with ease. The relative 
proportions of tagged bass caught, to untagged bass caught, would 
provide as estimate (minimum) of the number of bass available and an 
indication of the catchable smallmouth bass numbers. 

P lanting and Tagging 

On July 27th, 1956, 1$$ smallmouth bass were tagged with 
monel metal bands. The tags were fastened around the (Mandible) bone 
of the lower jaw. Each tag bore the letters Vi ONT" and a number. The 
fish were transported to Fanshawe Lake and planted carefully on the 
south shore of the Lake near the Boating Club bay. 

Mortality 

A mortality was expected to occur due to the high tempera- 
ture of the surface water of the Lake into which the bass were placed. 
Two fish, which were not expected to live at the time of stocking, 
were subsequently recovered on July 29th and July 30th. However, in 
spite of careful observation for a number of days after stocking, 
the expected mortality did not occur until August 4-6, during which 
time 17 fish were found floating on the water. It is interesting to 
note that this mortality occurred just before the fish were actively 
taken by anglers, some £-10 days after stocking. 

Returns 

a total of 19 fish (above) were recovered after their death. 
During the period July 28-Sept. 25 a total of 70 tagged bass were 
taken by anglers in various parts of the Lakes 



- 36 - 

Area above dam - 34 taken (July 2$-August 9) 

Trailer Park - 11 taken (August 6-9) 

Cove Area - g taken (July 29- August 7) 

Beach - 1 taken (July 29) 

No area specified - 13 taken (August 1-September 25) 

Below dam (1 mile) - 1 taken (August IS) 

Plover Mills - 1 taken (September 16) 

St. Mary's - 1 taken (August 26) 

During the first week after planting, twenty tags were 
returned. During the second week 44 tags were returned. Six more 
tagged bass were caught from August 10 to September 2 5th. 

It is surprising to discover one fish in the river a mile 
below the dam in good condition. The returns at Plover Mills and 
St. Mary 9 s indicate only the extensive movements of some fish (16 
miles traversed in 30 days). 

Increase in Angling 

Although the census records do not indicate the total use 
of the Lake by anglers, there is little doubt that many more anglers 
fished the Lake during July and August than in previous years. The 
reports of good catches by local anglers in the newspapers certainly 
induced more people to fish the Lake, and many fishermen learned for 
the first time, of the presence of natural smallmouth bass population. 

Most of the angling was carried on from the shore. In our 
studies of fishermen* s success, on other bodies of water, it appears 
that angling from a boat is more successful than angling from shore. 
(Lake Whittaker trout fishing is two times as effective from a boat 
than from shore). In order to allow greater exploitation of the 
fish, it would seem desirable to encourage more anglers to use boats. 

Census 

A spot census of fishing effort was carried out periodically 
during July, August, and September, On most days, this was done for 
only one or two hours during routine patrols of camping areas, park 
areas, etc. The figures do not give much indication of the overall 
use of the Lake, or of its fish production during this period. 

The census takers depended on the information supplied by 
the anglers, without examining the fish. If an angler reported a 
number of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, pike, sunfish, bullheads, 
etc, those numbers were recorded. This information is therefore, 
only as dependable as the ability of the angler to identify fish in 
his catch, and since experience has shown that such ability is often 
lacking, there is some doubt in the authenticity of some of the 
census data. 

On 10 days, T. L. Beck and J. Kalff (Student) of the 
Department of Lands and Forests collected census data on the Lake. 
Since both census takers were experienced and identified the catches, 
the information is reliable. 



- 37 - 













Lands & 






Collectors 
July 7 - 


Authority 

AUge 20 - 




Forests 
July 23 - 


Total 


Dates of Census 






Aug • 2 


Sept. 


23 




Aug. 11 




Census-hours 


40 


14 




54 


41 


95 


Anglers 


234 


139 




423 


304 


727 


Angler-hours 


459 


213 




672 


739 


1411 


Smallmouth Bass 


323 


54 




377 


97 


474 


Largemouth Bass 


166 


261 




427 


1 


423 


Sunfish (Sp) 


236 


33 




319 


402 


721 


Pike 


7 


26 




33 


— 


33 


Bullheads 


72 


11 




33 


76 


159 


Rock Bass 


- 


— 






64 


64 


Pickerel 


4 


5 




9 


- 


9 


Carp 


1 


" 




1 




1 
1339 



The census data collected from Anglers' Reports indicate a 
catch of .70 smallmouth and ,36 largemouth bass per hour of effort 
during July and .25 smallmouth and 1.2 largemouth bass per hour during 
August and September. This is far beyond the expected catch of bass 
for this area (Long Point Bay average - 0.5 per hour), and might 
indicate that perhaps the anglers were calling rock bass (which are not 
reported) or other sunfish either small or largemouth bass. If this 
is the case, then although the information is of little value, it 
indicates that the anglers were probably well satisfied with the 
fishing. The average success during the summer was 1.3 fish of all 
species per hour, which is considered fairly good fishing for most 
areas. The reliable data indicate fishing success for bass was about 
.13 smallmouth bass per hour. 

Bass Estimates 

Of the 70 recaptures of tagged bass made by anglers, less 
than half of the reports indicated the proportions of natural fish 
to tagged fish in the catch. Therefore, any estimate of the catchable 
bass in the lake will be inaccurate. It is suspected that the tagged 
bass, after a few days in the Lake were more Sl catchable'' 1 than the 
natural fish, and any estimate would be minimized by this variable 
and others. A higher mortality than that observed would increase the 
estimate. 

In view of the limited data and the many unaccountable 
variables, the percentage of error in any estimate will be high. 
However, during August in the areas fished, a minimum of between four 
and six hundred catchable smallmouth bass (8 to 13") are estimated 
to have been available to the anglers. 

Comments 



To a degree, the objects of the programme planned for 1956 
were obtained. More fishing effort was exerted by anglers as a 
result of the adult bass plantings. More data were collected than 
in previous years. Some indication of the available bass had been 
provided. 



- 3d - 

In order to plan management of this water, it would be 

desirable to know and understand more completely the type of fishing, 

the degree of utilization of the Lake for fishing, the annual catch, 
and perhaps the total production. 

Some work was done last June in locatingbass spawning 
grounds, with limited success, and further investigation is being 
planned for 1957 by this Department. 

Fanshawe Lake should produce many pounds of fish per- acre 
annually, and our management of the Lake should be so directed to 
increase this production of the most desirable species suited for 
these waters. 



REPORT OF THE WILDLIFE ADVISORY BOARD 

Census - Fanshawe Lake, 1957 

The most important phase of our work this year is the Creel 
Census of fishing in Fanshawe Lake. 

In 1952 when the lake was created, a relatively small popu- 
lation of fish existed throughout the Thames River, including small- 
mouth and largemouth bass, yellow pickerel, pike, carp, bullheads 
and catfish, rock bass, pumpkinseed and other sunfish, plus a variety 
of minnows. 

A possiblity existed that trout would survive in the cooler 
waters of the lake since the impounded water had a depth exceeding 
forty feet in some areas. A large number of Kamloops and Speckled 
trout were stocked in 1953 and 1954? but returns of trout to the 
angler were discouraging during the 1954 and 1955 angling seasons. 

The data obtained from a Department of Planning and Develop- 
ment survey in 1955 pointed out that the existing river populations 
had increased tremendously, and the management of Fanshawe Lake for 
warm water species (Bass and Pike) rather than Trout was the wisest 
approach. However, stocking of warm water species was believed to 
be pointless because the survey showed that suitable spawning facili- 
ties existed for most species and breeding stock was available. 

It was, therefore, recommended that the best management of 
the lake in 1956 comprise: 

1. A record of fishing success 

2. Assessment of size of smallmouth bass population in the lake, in 
order to decide on the advisability of managing the lake primarily 
for that species. It was also deemed important that the number 

of anglers using the present stocks of fish be increased. 



- 39 - 

More fishing effort was exerted by anglers as a result of 
adult bass plantings made by the Department of Lands and Forests. 
Of 138 tagged smallmouth bass planted, 19 died through non-acclimation 
and 70 were taken by anglers in various parts of the lake. Over 90 
percent of the bass caught were creeled during the first two weeks 
after planting. 

This project created a great deal of interest, and news- 
paper accounts of the success of local anglers certainly induced more 
people to fish the lake. 

A casual census of fishing effort was carried out in 1956, 
but the figures give little indication of the overall use of the 
lake or its fish production. As the data were based on reports by 
anglers, many of whom have a confused idea of the identity of the 
various species, this information was of little value. 

The Department of Lands and Forests conducted a creel census 
of ten days duration in early August. Of 640 fish checked, 97 were 
smallmouth bass, and one was a largemouth bass. 

1957 Programme 

The Department of Lands and Forests and the Upper Thames 
River Conservation Authority are co-ordinating their efforts to study 
in detail the fishing in Fanshawe Lake. 

A complete creel census on a "statistical sample" basis is 
being conducted. This study was started on May 23 and will be con- 
tinued throughout the summer months, and be terminated likely to- 
wards the end of September or October. The fishing day has been 
divided into five three hour periods as follows? 6s00-9s00, 9s00- 
Noon, Noon-3s00, 3sOO-6;00 and 6;00-9sOO. One period is worked per 
calendar day. Each angler at this time is asked his purpose (for 
what fish), duration and time out, and success. The catch of succes- 
sful fishermen is noted. By means of this sampling technique extra- 
polation of the results will yield the following informations 

1) Season* s crop of fish in numbers, harvest in pounds per acre, 
weights and sizes - by species. This will constitute both a 
qualitative and quantitative assessment of the fishing. 

2) The intensity of fishing, a measure of the popularity of the lake, 
and a comparison of the relative appeal of the lake proper and 
the river immediately below the dam. 

3) The natch per hour and per fishermen-trip, a second qualitative 
measure of the angling in Fanshawe Lake. 

4) A comparison of the success of boat and bank fishermen. 

5) A comparison of success in relation to season and possibly time 
of day. Perhaps success will show some connection to water 
temperatures or other climatic variables. 

6) Success in relation to the parts of the lake itself, therefore 
a reflection on the distribution of the species in relation to 
bottom type and water depth. This should also show the associa- 
tion of various species in parts of the lake. 



- 40 - 

7) Various facts about the biology of the species in Fanshawe may 
be easily studied incidental to the main line of work - e.g. 
length-weight relationships, maximum and minimum and average 
weights and lengths by species of the fish caught, character of 
habitat preferred, etc. 

A study of the fisherman himself should be every part as 
important as fish research. It is important to know the type of 
anglers using the lake, what they consider a successful trip, the 
species they prefer catching, the species they throw back, and the 
frequency and duration of their trips. The answer to these and many 
similar unknowns should be prime requisites for a fish management 
programme of this nature. 

Since it is impossible to obtain all the information de- 
sired during interviews, these aspects of the fish study could be 
best handled by distributing a questionnaire with a stamped addressed 
envelope to enable each angler to take his time in going over the 
queries ° 9 and to send in his completed form. 

Questions such as the following could be asked: 

Name and address - How often do you fish in Fanshawe Lake - What is 
the average length of time spent on each trip - How many trips would 
you call successful, and what is your definition of a successful 
trip - What kind (s) of fish do you especially enjoy fishing for - 
Do you enjoy fishing for and catching rock bass, suckers, sunfish, 
catfish. What species do you take home to eat - What species are 
thrown back - Have you caught any largemouth or smallmouth bass in 
the lake - Where would you have to go, in your opinion, for better 
fishing - What, in your opinion, is good or poor about the fishing 
in Fanshawe Lake. What in your opinion could be done to improve 
the fishing in Fanshawe Lake - etc. - etc. 

The Department of Lands and Forests have recently completed 
four days of fish netting operations. A total of 495 fish were 
netted. The numbers of each species are shown on the following 
graph: 

2 sunfish >>cs v /z^2 smallmouth bass 



14 
rock bass 




- 41 - 

The carp and suckers averaged about 12 inches in length; 
the bullhead approximately 6 inches, and the rock bass about 5 inches, 
Only two smallmouth bass were captured. 

Fish sampling may also be carried out using selective fish 
poison in a remote part of the lake, but this remains tentative to 
date. 



P rogress Report 

The Creel Census has been conducted for little over three 
weeks but several observations have been made. The success of 
fishermen is low and the bulk of the catch is made up of suckers, 
bullheads and rock bass. 



Period 



Number of Fishermen 



Fish Caught 



# FishAour A ngling 





Below Dam 
47 


In Lake 
31 


B< 


Blow Dam 
17 


In Lake 
33 


Bi 


slow Dam 
.4 


In 


Lake 


May 23 
-31 


.7 


June 1 
- 14 


75 


59 




32 


13 




.35 




.7 


May 23- 
June 14 


122 


90 




49 


46 




.4 




.7 



Few pike are cau 
corded for the lake. Howe 
of fishermen at Fanshawe c 
Most of this class combine 
fairly short time using wo 
with whatever manages to b 
fish with artificial bait 
They appear to be slightly 
but the heavy pressure exe 
dam must take a heavy toll 



ght below the dam, and none have been re- 
ver, at this time of year the great majority 
ould be termed "Sunday Afternoon Fishermen". 

their angling with picnicking, fish for a 
rms as bait, and on the whole are content 
ecome hooked. A lower percentage of anglers 
or minnows, particularly below the dam. 

more successful than the ordinary angler, 
rted on the few acres of water below the 

of the game species, pike and pickerel. 



With the opening of the bass season, July 1st, a third type 
of angler will be on the scene. It is hoped the bass fisherman" s 
luck runs better thar. his counterparts, for the black bass is the 
crucial species in the development of the Fishing in Fanshawe. 



- 42 - 

CREEL CENSUS AND LAKE SURVEY - FANSHAWE LAKE * 

by 
Murray G. Johnson 
Department of Planning and Development 

Location and Description 

Fanshawe Dam and Conservation Reservoir is located on the 
North Branch of the Thames River five miles above London . The dam 
is a gravity type earth fill structure with a concrete spillway 
section; construction was started in 1950 and completed in December, 
1952. 

When floods occur, water which might endanger the City 
of London is stored in the reservoir,, When the danger of flood is 
past, the reservoir is lowered to its ^permanent 9 level with a 
depth of 41 feet at the dam and a storage of 10,000 acre-feet. The 
average depth of the 645 acre permanent lake is therefore 15.5 feet. 
Fanshawe Lake is four miles long with a maximum width of l/2 mile. 

The lake is situated in a relatively highly populated area, 
In this area farm ponds are plentiful, but Fanshawe is the only 
inland lake of its size over several counties. Its value as a 
recreational site is high. 

A public park with boat-rental facilities is operated by 
the Authority, In addition, the lake is accessible in many spots 
and bank fishing is popular to such an extent that boat fishing 
comprises a very small percentage of the total angling. This 
situation arises also because outboard motors have been banned on 
the lake. Some anglers use their own boats, but very few people 
rent Authority punts for fishing purposes. Nevertheless, Fanshawe 
Lake is fished by many hundreds of anglers each season, in spite of 
the fact that Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair and several spots on the 
rivers of the area offer better fishing, as conditions now exist. 



h This study was carried on from May 23 to August 31 > 1957 by the 
Upper Thames River Conservation Authority. The creel census 
duties were shared by personnel of the Upper Thames River Conser- 
vation Authority, T. L. Beck, Conservation Officer, London, and 
the author. Ken Allen, a London sportsman, carried out the 
spot-check creel census at various spots in the vicinity of 
London. J. D. Roseborough, District Biologist, Aylmer, lent 
valuable advisory assistance. 



- 43 - 



Creel Census Method 



The fishing day was divided into five periods as follows ; 
6 a.m. - 9 a.m., 9 a.m. - 12 noon, noon - 3 p.m., 3 p.m. - 6 p.m., 
and 6 p„m. - 9 p.m. Five or six times per week one round trip of 
the lake and area below the dam was made at a different period each 
day on a rotation basis. 

Each angler was asked for the time he had been fishing 
prior to being interviewed. His catch was recorded, his purpose 
(what species of fish angled for) noted. 

The catch per man-hour of angling, the simplest qualitative 
measure of fishing success was calculated from this information. 

To estimate the total fishing pressure on the lake and 
tailwaters as well as the total harvest of fish, a random sampling 
technique was assured which took into consideration the differential 
fishing pressure at various times of the day or week, differential 
success at various times of the day and season, and the ever- 
important variant, the weather. 

The average of the reported time spent fishing of each 
angler was calculated for each month and was assumed to represent 
the average half fishing trip. This figure doubled and divided into 
the total number of fishing hours in the day yielded a factor, the 
reciprocal of which would represent the fraction of the total number 
of anglers that the number interviewed represented. The estimated 
number of angling trips made to Fanshawe Lake and the total harvest 
for the season was made on a monthly basis, although holidays and 
week days (Monday to Friday) were considered separately.^ Sufficient 
census trips were made each month that approximately ten percent 
sampling was achieved. Every time of day, every day of the week and 
ail weather conditions were treated. 

The Department of Lands and Forests carry on similar work 
on the sports fishery at Long Point Bay and Lake St. Clair. These 
figures are available for comparison purposes. In addition, a 
limited amount of creel census work was carried out on the streams 
most popular for angling in the vicinity of London, A comparison 
of the success of fishermen at Fanshawe Lake with fellow anglers 
elsewhere in the London area is of value. 

K Formula for E stimatin g Total Angling Pressure 

Total for month = A 1 H pi + A 2 H D 2 

2T C 1 2T C 2 

where A^- = anglers checked during week days 

H = hours per fishing day 

D^- = number of week days in month 

T = average time recorded for anglers 

C 1 = number of census checks week-days 
and A 2 « anglers checked holidays 

D 2 = number of holidays in month 

C 2 = number of census checks holidays 



- J* - 

Creel Census Results 

Angling Pressure 

A total of 336 anglers were checked during the period May 
23 to August 31. Of this number, 332 were interviewed below the 
dam and 504 on the lake. Using the preceding formula, 7,122 fishing 
trips were estimated to have been made to Fanshawe; 35 percent of 
the anglers fished below the dam, while 65 percent visited the lake. 

Prior to the opening of the bass season tailwater fishing 
attracted as many anglers as lake fishing, since a few large pike 
and some pickerel were caught in the waters below the dam. During 
the bass season twice the number of anglers fishing below the dam 
fished on the lake. July was the most popular month. Figure 1 
illustrates the distribution of, angling pressure during the course 
of the study. 

Of the anglers interviewed on the lake only 20 percent 
fished in the half of the lake farthest removed from the dam; 60 
percent of the anglers were checked in the immediate vicinity of 
the dam (along both shores up to, and including the Boating Club bay). 
Many parts of the lake were virtually unfished. 

Over half of the anglers interviewed were angling for fish 
in general; 54 percent of lake fishermen and 64 percent of tailwater 
fishermen fell into this category. Bass fishermen accounted for 42 
percent of lake anglers and 26 percent of tailwater anglers. Pike 
and/or pickerel were sought by 10 percent of tailwater anglers and 
only 4 percent of lake anglers. 

Angling Success 

The lake produced .4$ fish per man-hour including as well 
those fish returned to the water. (See Table 2) Angling below 
the dam yielded a catch of .43 fish per man-hour. The return of 
game species, smallmouth bass, pike and pickerel was .05 fish per 
man-hour below the dam and .06 for the lake. Table 4 compares 
Fanshawe angling with that in various spots around London. 

The Catch 

Table 3 shows the percent catch by species for the census 
period for the reservoir. The brown bullhead, pumpkinseed and rock 
bass together comprise over three-quarters of the total catch by 
numbers, but by weight the combined poundage of the three species 
falls short of the harvest in pounds of smallmouth bass. Table 5 
shows the estimated number and weight of each species taken from 
the lake and the tailwaters. It is interesting to note that the 
six acres of water below Fanshawe Dam provides anglers with a harvest 
in pounds per acre 65 times greater than that of the reservoir. It 
is possible that the waters below the dam could be somewhat more 
productive, but it should be evident that anglers are not taking 
near the crop of fish available to them in the lake. 



- 45 - 



FIGURE I - Estimated Fishing Pressure in the Lake and Below 

Fanshawe Dam for the Period May 23 to August 31 » 1957. 



Period Lake Dam Total 



2000_ 



Kay x 

June 
July 
Augo 



129 
1010 
2067 
1297 



273 

842 

109 d 

406 



1500- 



1000 _ 



500^ 







Pike-pickerel 



open 
as of 



* 



season 

Kay 15 



21 



402 
1352 
316,5 
1703 



Total 4503 261Q 7122 



Bass season 
as of 
July 1 





• 




* lay 23-30 



June 



July 



August 



Estimated number of 
fishing trips to the 
lake. 




Estimated number of 
fishing trips to the 
tailwaters below the 

dam. 



- 46 - 



TABLE II - Catch per man-hour showing the variation and average 

over the period the creel census was conducted. These 
data include fish which were returned to the lake. 



Fans) 


lawe Lake 9 


1957 




















No. 


Anglers 








Cat! 


ch Per 


Pe] 


~iod 


Int 


erviewed 


No. 


Fish C 
33 


aught 


Man- 


-Hour 


May 


23- 


■31 




31 


»7 


June 


1- 


■14 




59 




15 






.4 


June 


15- 


■30 




46 




37 






o5 


July 


1- 


■15 




111 




78 






.5 


July 


16- 


•31 




87 




78 






.7 


Augo 


1- 


■15 




54 




15 






.3 


Aug. 


16- 


■31 




116 




80 






.4 



TOTAL 



504 



336 



48 



TABLE III - The percent composition of the catch including as well 
those fish returned to the lake. The ratio of game to 
coarse fish in the harvest is Is 7*5 



Species 


May 23-30 
6 


July 1-15 
19.3 


July 16- 
12.8 


•31 


Aug J 

15: 8 


May 23~Augc31 


Smallmouth Bass 


13.3 


Rock Bass 


41 , 8 


11.5 


24.3 




16.9 


23.5 


Bullhead 


31.1 


25.7 


28,3 




29.4 


28.6 


Pump kin seed 


8.1 


38.5 


?2,0 




29.4 


27c 4 


Sucker 


6.0 


2.5 


1.3 




7,5 


4.5 


Carp 


3.6 


- 


- 




1.0 


1.2 


Green Sunfish 


2 o 4 


2.5 


1.3 




- 


1.5 



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- 49 - 

Smallm outh Bass Manag e ment 

Shortly after the creation of Fanshawe Lake it was realized 
that the management of the lake for a warm-water game species of 
fish was required. Largemouth bass plantings failed and reports on 
anglers taking this species are negligible. Pike are caught north 
of the lake in the Thames River and below the dam, but not in the 
lake. Therefore it was deemed necessary to manage Fanshawe Lake 
primarily for smallmouth bass fishing. 

The smallmouth bass was the only species of game fish 
caught by anglers checked during the creel census work. In addition, 
netting during the spring of 1957 failed to yield any other game 
fish. 

Bass Angling 

A total catch of 800 bass was estimated for the period 
May 23 to August 31 for Fanshawe Lake. Of this number approximately 
100 fish were caught prior to the opening of the bass season and 
were returned to the water. Another 100 fish were returned to the 
lake during the open season because of their small size, leaving a 
harvest of 600 fish. 

During the course of the creel census 45 bass were recorded 
taken from the lake. Of this number 33 were caught by anglers 
fishing for bass purposely, and spending 349 man hours to do so, 
representing a return of approximately .1 bass per hour of angling. 
The success of Long Point Bay bass anglers is close to .5 bass per 
man-hour. Bass fishing on Lake St. Clair is equally as good. 
However boats are used to a very great extent in these areas and the 
methods are more refined. These methods applied to Fanshawe Lake 
produce a yield of up to .3 bass per man-hour per bass fisherman, 
as shown in the following tables 

TABLE VI - Comparison of angling methods and success 
of Fan shawe Lake fishing,, 19.5.7 * 

Method of Angling Total Man-Hours Catch Per Man-Hour 

Boat fishing 38 .3 

Shore fishing 311 .07 

With minnows 60 .3 

With worms 161 .05 

Artificial bait 102 .04 

Misc. (e.g. frogs) 16 

The quality of angling below the dam is similar to lake 
fishing, as evidenced in a catch of .1 bass per man-hour per bass 
fisherman. An estimated total harvest of 250 smallmouth bass from 
the six acres of river below the dam represents a catch of approxi- 
mately 40 pounds per acre, in comparison with the catch of less than 
one pound per acre for the lake. 



- 50 - 

The bass taken from the lake ranged from 7 l/2 inches to 
16 inches in length and averaged 12 inches total length. About 15 
percent of these bass were returned to the water, The majority of 
small fish were put back for only 9 percent of the bass taken home 
were less than 10 inches in length. 

Bass were taken in all parts of the lake and no evidence 
of congregation was apparent. Insufficient data were available to 
draw a comparison of the success in different parts of the lake, 
but it appears that the success is highest in the north part of the 
lake and particularly near Thorndale Bridge where the angling could 
be classified as very good (see Table 4> Thames, North Branch). 
Many bass are caught beside the dam but actual success in bass per 
man-hour is not significantly higher. 

Bass anglers, particularly those anglers using worms for 
bait caught many coarse fish. In 349 man-hours of bass fishing 41 
bullheads, 4$ pumpkinseeds, 21 rock bass, 5 suckers and 1 carp were 
caught, a catch of .3 coarse fish per hour incidental to bass 
fishing. 

The return of bass to anglers fishing with no particular 
preference was a very low .03 bass per man hour. 

On Fanshawe Lake it is difficult to correctly classify 
anglers by purpose. The best objective measure of the quality of 
bass fishing would be the return for all anglers. This figure for 
Fanshawe Lake for the 1957 season is .064 bass per hour. Reliable 
data of the 1956 creel census indicate a success of .13 bass per 
man-hour, in other words twice as good as in 1957. Little variation 
occurred, however in the percent of the total catch made up by bass 
viz. 13 percent in 1957 and 15 percent in 1956. 

To summarize this section the following observations are 
made: 

1. The success of anglers desiring bass is low as compared to Long 
foint, Lake St. Clair and some locations near London, but it 
has been shown that if a lake is fished as a lake should be, 
that is from boats, success can be comparable. 

2. The total harvest of the lake is low, but because the lake is 
very greatly underfished. The tailwaters below the dam yield 

40 pounds per acre, yet the catch in bass per man-hour is identi- 
cal. In terms of fishing pressure per acre the area below the 
dam is fished 60 times more heavily than the lake, yet it is 
seen that bass fishing is as good in the tailwaters as in the 
lake itself. 

3. However, the problem remains such that the average angler, as 
conditions exist now in Fanshawe Lake, must fish 16 hours for 

a single bass and must be part to the fact that for every seven 
fish caught, six are coarse fish. Without doubt, a great many 
people care little what they catch, but for anglers of an ardent 
nature fishing could be improved. 



- 51 - 

Spawning; Conditions 

Bottom Character 

The entire shoreline was inspected for suitable spawning 
areas for smallmouth bass, but no nests were observed because of 
the turbidity of the water. The map of Fanshawe Lake shows the 
rapid drop-off characteristic of most of the beaches. Shoals occur 
in several spots but the mud bottom supporting heavy beds of sub- 
merged aquatic vegetation is not suitable for bass spawning,, It is 
on these shoals at the north end of the lake where carp are so 
conspicuous in May and early in June as they congregate to spawn, 
keeping the water very turbid with their splashing and spawning 
activities. In the remainder of the lake excellent areas of gravel 
occur, but because of the rapid drop-off, the zone three to five 
feet deep and suitable for spawning is very narrow, perhaps avera- 
ging two or three yards, and, lying close to shore wave action and 
water level fluctuations would influence the success of the hatch. 

Water Fluctuations 

By May and June the break-up season is past, river flow is 
high but usually constant „ However, ground conditions in May and 
sometimes into June are such that frontal thunderstorms provide 
enough rain to cause rapid runoff, and sudden rises in the lake 
level . The water goes back to near permanent level quickly. 

Floods in the drears 1954, 1955 and 1957 were quite tame in 
the months of May and June when bass spawn" little change more than 
2* occurred in 1954 and 1955? and a storm in late June caused a 
3 foot rise in the level of Fanshawe Lake. However, in 1956, a 17 
foot rise occurred in mid-May, but a few days before a 60°F water 
temperature was reached which appears to mark the onset of the bass 
spawning season. 

Turbidity 

As mentioned previously, the waters of Fanshawe Lake are 
quite turbid at all times. An estimated three inches of silt has 
settled out since the water was first impounded in 1952. Total 
siltation appears to be a sum of three sources; turbidity derived 
from the Thames River entering the lake, from the bluffs occurring 
on many parts of the lakeshore, and from the spawning and feeding 
behaviour of the many carp infesting the lake. Lakeshore erosion 
seems the most serious, particularly as bluffs of gravel and sand 
are found in many instances above good bass spawning beds. 

Temperature and Oxygen Character of Water 

During the warm days of the summer the surface water 
temperature rises to a point close to 80°F. The bottom waters of 
the shallower north half of the lake range in the low and middle 
seventies. The colder waters (below 70°) of the lake at this time 
are found only below a depth of 2 5 feet where the Oxygen content 
of the water is less than 1 p.p.m. (Winkler Method) and lethal to 



- 52 - 

fish. A drop in oxygen content with depth is expected, but the 
bottom water of Fanshawe Lake is so stagnant that water pollution 
is indicated. The usefulness of the lake for any species of trout 
is eliminated, and the bottom waters are of no use to the existing 
fish population as long as this condition exists. 

S uccess of Smallmouth Pass Spawning 

During late July the Department of Lands and Forests carried 
out experiments poisoning very small portions of the lake to evaluate 
the success of spawning for the current year. Results showed that 
in spite of the number of adverse factors influencing spawning, 
including fluctuating water levels, turbidity, and a restricted 
spawning zone, a satisfactory percentage of the small fish collected 
were bass fry. Because of the presence of adequate adult stock and 
areas suitable for the reproduction of bass, stocking of fry is not 
necessary. 

Growth of Smallmouth Bass 

Scales from 20 bass were collected. The fish were measured 
and aged. Results are as follows, and indicate a satisfactory rate 
of growth of about two inches per year for Fanshawe Lake bass: 



Age Group 


Mo. 


of 

1 
4 
7 
6 
2 


Fish 


Average Length 

7" 

9.1" 
11.1" 

13.5" 
15.3" 


Range 


2 
3 

4 
5 
6 


7 3/3 - 10 1/2 

3 - 13 1/4 
11 - 14 7/3 
15 - 15 3/3 



- 53 - 



Summary 



Item 



Number anglers interviewed 
Number fish caught 
Number man-hours to do so 
Catch per man-hour 
Percent composition of catch 

Smallmouth bass 

Pike 

Pickerel 
Game fish 

Rock bass 

Pumpkinseed 

Green sunfish 

Carp 

Sucker 

Bullhead 
Coarse fish 

Estimated number trips for period 
Estimated catch 
Number fish per trip 
Estimated number bass taken 
Catch per man-hour by bass anglers 
Percent bass anglers 
Catch per man-hour by all anglers 
Catch of bass per acre 
Estimated harvest 31 (pounds per acre) 
All species 



Fanshawe Lake 



Below the Dam 



504 


332 


336 


158 


700 


460 


.48 


.34 


13c3 


12.2 


- 


2.0 


- 


3.2 


13.3 


17.4 


23.5 


27.3 


27.4 


19.6 


1.5 


- 


1.2 


15.2 


4.5 


12.2 


28.6 


8.3 


86.7 


82.6 


4503 


2519 


6030 


2385 


1.3 


.9 


800 


290 


.1 


.1 


42 


26 


.064 


.047 


1.2 


48 


1.8 


150 



x All data on catch per man-hour and numbers of fish taken include 
those fish thrown back, but harvest includes only those fish 
removed permanently from the water. 



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